Envision Virgin Racing’s Sylvain Filippi says his team has not been distracted and remains ‘totally focused’ heading into this weekend’s inaugural Formula E event in Spain, despite suffering heartbreak at the last event in Rome.
Normally the location of Formula E’s pre-season test, the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia becomes the setting for rounds five and six on April 24 and 25 – marking the first time the all-electric series has competed on Spanish soil.
Using a modified version of the renowned circuit, the 24 Formula E drivers will compete on a special 3.376km, 15-turn layout that will also signify the first time the series has raced on a permanent track.
“Valencia is a location all of the Formula E teams are familiar with due to the numerous pre-season tests staged there,” said Managing Director Filippi. “Yet, this weekend will be the first time we’ve actually gone head-to-head. Last time out in Rome we showed we had great pace and out of the four qualifying sessions so far this season, the team has topped 50% of them. But, unfortunately, things didn’t go to plan in the second race with Nick [Cassidy] being unable to convert his maiden pole position, which was obviously a bitter pill to swallow. But how quickly he and the team has recovered from that heartbreak is testament to their character and everyone remains totally focused on setting the record straight in Valencia.”
New Zealander racer Cassidy added: “Formula E can be so unpredictable and what happened in Rome will go down as just one of those moments. It’s super encouraging though to know we have both the qualifying and the race pace to compete at the sharp end, so I know the confidence is there to go out and look to score strongly.”
Team-mate Robin Frijns said: “To be lying in third place in the standings after four rounds is a great way to start the season but there’s still a long way to go. For me, what is important is scoring consistently at every round so we can keep the pressure on. I’ve completed countless laps at Valencia over the various test sessions so we have a lot of data to work off, but racing on a wide, permanent track as opposed to the tight, twisty ones we’re used to in Formula E will feel very different.”
Rounds five and six of the 2020/2021 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship take place in Valencia, Spain on April 24 and 25.